Paychecks At Center Of Lawmakers' Return To Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - It's not even been a month since state Sen. Damon Thayer opened his new consulting company, and already he's looking at his available personal time shrinking because of a special legislative session. Of course, that's part of being a member of the Kentucky General Assembly, he says.

"It is a challenge," Thayer said. "The second week of my company's existence, here I am in Frankfort working on legislation and, yes, I would much rather be out making pitches to prospective clients and doing work of my existing clients, but they understand I have a responsibility to the constituents I serve."

Lawmakers are due back in Kentucky's Capitol on Monday, where they're expected to do little more than make sure they don't get paid for the past three weeks and then go home.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher earlier this month called the General Assembly into a special legislative session to deal with issues from a ban on domestic partner benefits for public university employees to tax incentives aimed at enticing Peabody Energy to build a coal gassification plant in Kentucky.

There was also a proposal to give military families a state income tax break and another to authorize more than $427 million in construction projects.

But the governor's call created high drama at the Capitol, as Democrats cried foul claiming Fletcher, a Republican, was playing politics in hopes of boosting his re-election campaign. While the GOP-led Senate passed legislation addressing each of the issues, the House adjourned and sent its members home just hours into the session.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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